4 Jun 2015

Samoans exiles to Saipan remembered

8:10 pm on 4 June 2015

The US Congressman for the Northern Marianas Greg Kilili Sablan has paid tribute to 72 Samoans exiled to the CNMI more than 100 years ago.

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Photo: supplied

On June 20th a formal ceremony will mark the exiles six year involvement with the territory from 1909.

The Samoans, including 10 chiefs, established themselves on Saipan after being exiled by the German colonial government to the Northern Marianas which was also controlled by Germany at that time.

Their story became prominent in the late 1990s, when the Division of Historic Preservation acquired an account from the youngest chief written in 1942, and which provided details of their time on Saipan.

Mr Sablan says the almost forgotten history has now been saved.

"Samoans remained in the Marianas until 1915 when they were repatriated by another colonial power, Japan, and the story was almost lost in time but thanks to the work of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, the history of the exiles has now been documented."